Unfortunately, it remains uncertain how many Lakers fans might actually get to watch these games in Los Angeles this season with Time Warner Cable SportsNet still unavailable on major networks like Cox Cable and DirecTV.
With the start of the season less than a week away, Time Warner Cable Sports released the following statement about distribution of the channel dedicated to Lakers coverage:
With the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Galaxy and Los Angeles Sparks, two networks and unprecedented behind-the-scenes programming, Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes are delivering tremendous value for Southern California sports fans.
Any assertion that we are the highest priced regional sports outlet in the country is simply untrue; as a significant buyer of regional sports across the country, we know that there are higher priced regional sports networks, including Root Sports that we buy from DirecTV.
Cox and DirecTV know that there is no regional sports network anywhere in the country that is offered on an optional tier — that would be unprecedented.
If Cox or DirecTV choose not to carry our networks, we and their customers will be very disappointed but we are confident there will be other alternatives for their customers to see this highly-anticipated Lakers season.
This statement doesn’t give Lakers fans a sense that a deal will get done before the beginning of the regular season next week. In fact, this statement implies that Cox and DirecTV are seriously considering not carrying Time Warner Cable SportsNet altogether and leaving Lakers fans in Los Angeles stuck without an alternative.
It remains to be seen whether or not anything can get done to resolve this situation that is impacting so many fans in the Los Angeles area, but negotiations are bound to kick into high gear over the next week with opening night around the corner.
A deal may ultimately get done before the start of the season, but the frustration continues to build for Lakers fans left searching for other alternatives to watch their team this season.